Today’s working environment is very different
from that of even just a decade ago. Equipped with smartphones, tablets and
laptops, office workers today work in flexible, fast changing teams. They are
connected as never before, with many working with cloud based applications and
collaborative tools that demand always-on wireless connectivity. And they want
workspaces that are equally adaptive, and fit around their changing needs.
Managers want an environment that enables teams
to work together effectively the same way whether at home, in a cafe, off-site
or wherever in the office they find themselves. And they also want workspaces
that are energy and resource efficient as well.
All this can be a real challenge for facilities
managers. They are faced with the need to adapt buildings that are in many
cases decades old to the connected working practices and energy efficient
demands of today.
Leveraging the latest building technologies
Connected and efficient buildings, or
intelligent buildings, exploit the latest technologies to interconnect people,
information and devices in a way that drives greater productivity and
By replacing a building device-centric approach
with an application-centric approach, connected and efficient buildings address
the need for greater efficiency and improved space utilization, as well as the
needs of companies for more flexible, connected and efficient workspaces, thus
satisfying the needs of facility and IT managers, as well as corporate real
At the heart of the connected and efficient
building is a common infrastructure that can combine power and data to the end
device. Multiple building systems can be integrated over a common physical
infrastructure, increasing operational efficiency as well as flexibility. Automated
Infrastructure Management systems can provide additional visibility and
control over this infrastructure, making troubleshooting and conducting moves,
additions and changes easier, more efficient and more accurate.
A cohesive, dynamic foundation
Once in place, this infrastructure provides a
flexible and intelligent pipeline to handle changes, growth and upgrades
cost-effectively and well into the future. The collective benefit of these
technologies is a cohesive, dynamic foundation that easily adapts to new
technologies, changes in the workforce, and evolving workplace designs.
Building efficiency can be further increased
through provisioning services based on occupancy. A granular network of
occupancy sensors built into the fabric of a building allows for intelligent
automation of HVAC, lighting and other building systems to reflect accurately
the real-time use of each section and room within a building, further driving
Such sensors also provide data for analytics,
enabling building managers to make informed decisions about the utilization of
their real estate, and how best to allocate space based on usage.
Finally, connected and efficient buildings need
to enable wireless connectivity throughout the building, whether it’s for
high speed Wi-Fi or mobile network services. Wi-Fi speeds are increasing at
such a rate that building horizontal infrastructure is required at multi
gigabit rates to provide suitable capacity to meet typical future workplace
demands. Likewise, as mobile technologies continue to move towards 4G/LTE and
beyond, intelligent buildings will also need to provide coverage and capacity
for the latest technologies.
With connected and efficient buildings, emerging
technologies can be leveraged to future proof investments to serve a fast
evolving, agile workforce. For companies, it brings greater flexibility and
efficiency. For buildings management, it allows truly informed long term real
estate planning and greatly improved ROI.
To learn more about intelligent buildings, please
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the ultimate guide to “The Connected and Efficient
Building.” If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I will be
sure to respond.